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Author Topic: New TT, new member. Generator question  (Read 600 times)

Tagaturo

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New TT, new member. Generator question
« on: October 08, 2017, 06:47:20 AM »
Hello everyone. My Wife and I have been tent campers for years and have finally made the jump to a camper. We are very excited and I am also happy to have found this community here as I am full of questions. We took the camper out last weekend for a test run and I learned how little I know but still had a great time.

Our first time out was dry camping and I am now interested in purchasing a portable generator. I am hoping to get one that is pretty quiet, light but strong enough to start up our air. We purchased a new Coleman that has a 13,500 btu air conditioner.

My confusion on the matter is deepened because in reading reviews and comments on some generators I am interested in, some owners say they will get the job done and some say they will not get through the powering up of their air conditioner of similar or the same strength. So, I hope there is a member or two here that may have a similar small camper / air unit that can tell me what they are successfully using.

Thanks for all the information I have already learned on these forums!
2018 Coleman Light LX 1705RB

Ernie n Tara

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 08:23:39 AM »
A 3kW generator (Honda or similar) will do the job, but will weigh about 100 lbs. A 2kW may work if you hold your mouth just right or not, but will be considerably lighter. Finally, two 2kW generators may be linked (stay with the same brand) but will cost more than the other options. Larger will obviously work, but cost more and be heavier.

Do your neighbors a favor and stick with the inverter type as they are much quieter.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

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QZ

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 08:35:50 AM »
Here and there you will see that someone will say that their 2000 watt will run a 13,500 but dont plan on it. Microair makes a start device that many seem to say will let their 2000 start a 13,500. I have not bought one but we do plan to try it on my sons FW because his older Honda EB3000C (120V 3000W max. (25.0A) / 2600W rated (21.7A) )  wont always start his 13,500 when very hot or if he possibly starts going up in elevation. I dont know the full details but he did have trouble with it when going over to New Mexico this summer.  You can read the reviews on microair website. Other web site uses have said it works.

I run my newer  13,500 ac with a Honda EU3000si (120V 3000W max.(25A) 2800W rated (23.3A) )with no problems. I bolted it in the truck bed in front of my FW hitch and wired it i through permanent 10 gauge cable going to a transfer switch. It has a twist lock plug and remote start. My RV  owners manual recommended a 4000 watt for my 30 amp RV which would give some leeway for running other devices at the same time.

https://www.microair.net/collections/easystart-soft-starters

If I wasn't buying a Honda I would probably look at the Champion 3400 or even a Harbor Freight Pedator 3500. Remember that all of these generators list their surge number but the actual running wattage is less.

You want as quiet as possible or you may be hated in some camp spots. Come back and talk to us about effective battery charging too because the generator is just part of the system.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 09:08:34 AM by QZ »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2017, 09:16:28 AM »
As others have described, there is no simple answer to your inquiry. Below about 3000 watts capacity, it is impossible to predict whether a genset can reliably start a 13,500 btu a/c unit. The smaller, lighter gensets will work with some a/c units, some of the time. Maybe even most of the time, which is why you see conflicting views on the net.

When shopping gensets, pay careful attention to the watt rating. Most advertising numbers will be the surge or starting watts, which is the max value that it can provide for a short time, sometimes a minute or less. The sustained watt rating, i.e. what it can deliver for hours if needed, will be less. Sometimes much less, so make sure you learn both numbers before buying.

Also be careful of the voltage associated with the rating and the type of outlets provided.  Some gensets advertise a wattage that they can provide only via its 220v outlet, and if you are using the 120v outlet the max is much less. A genset may have a pair of 120v outlets that are limited to 20A each, plus a 220v outlet that can provide 30A or more.  That 220v/30A outlet does you little good if you only have 120v items to plug in, e.g. your pop-up camper power cord.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Tagaturo

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2017, 07:20:24 PM »
Thank you all. I really appreciate the info. and I think this will help tremendously.    :))
2018 Coleman Light LX 1705RB

Tagaturo

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2017, 07:49:05 PM »
With the advice and info. I have narrowed down to these two based on price, noise level and weight.

Predator 3500
https://t.harborfreight.com/engines-generators/inverter-generators/3500-watt-super-quiet-inverter-generator-63584.html

Champion 100233 - 3100 Watt
https://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Champion-100233-Portable-Generator/p67307.html

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on these or one over the other etc. Thanks!!
2018 Coleman Light LX 1705RB

Willandgiselarv

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2017, 08:18:31 PM »
One thing that may help is hard start kit for your air conditioner...it connects to the compressor capacitor and can help starting the compressor from the smaller generators.
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Larry N.

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 07:06:17 AM »
Quote
based on price, noise level and weight.

Keep in mind that noise level, as measured, is dependent on distance, too. The measured noise level decreases (or increases) as the square of the distance -- in other words, if they are measuring five feet further away they'll get a lower dB rating.

Quote
but he did have trouble with it when going over to New Mexico this summer.


Most of New Mexico is over 4,000 feet, some near 12,000-13,000.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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  de N8GGG

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2017, 09:31:57 AM »
Quote
One thing that may help is hard start kit for your air conditioner...it connects to the compressor capacitor and can help starting the compressor from the smaller generators.

Many a/c units already have these as standard equipment. I would expect that a 2018 model would have it, but it's something to verify and add if not present.

Installing a hard start kit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHgXGlYNYkQ
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 09:37:42 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

captaindomon

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2017, 11:36:08 AM »
Get this guy instead. Same basic model as the Champion you mention but it's got remote control start and it's the same price. We love ours. Runs our 13.5k A/C fine as long as we don't try to run the microwave at the same time.

https://www.amazon.com/Champion-Power-Equipment-75537i-Generator/dp/B00JZQUSAC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507566837&sr=8-1&keywords=75537i

Lots of reviews online but here is a good review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00fkBB3IZrU


Badlands Bob

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 05:01:03 PM »
After a lot of research, I went with the Champion 3400 with remote start.  It runs my 15K A/C unit in my camper easily.  I've had it about a year with no complaints.  Champion has designed this generator with the RVer in mind.  I caught mine on sale for $849 with free shipping and no sales tax.  That's less than 1/2 of what a 3000 watt Honda generator costs.  Honda makes a fine generator but from my saddle, it ain't worth twice as much as a Champion with more features.
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Tagaturo

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2017, 07:41:55 PM »
Thank you all. Champion is looking good to me and the remote start feature is a plus.
2018 Coleman Light LX 1705RB

Badlands Bob

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2017, 08:18:37 PM »
The remote start/stop feature definitely appealed to my lazy side.
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AutumnLief

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Re: New TT, new member. Generator question
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 07:08:55 AM »
I don't own a TT yet. Just bought a truck last night!
But we are looking at renting a few times before buying. One of the things I noticed on one of the rental sites was the option to have a generator or not with the rental. I noted that they had different sizes and a couple said they could NOT power the AC. The smallest this particular site had for the AC unit was 4400W. Sorry, I don't remember how large the AC unit was though.

 

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